How Long Does Whiplash Last?

Whiplash is one of the most common injuries individuals sustain in motor vehicle accidents and often one of the most underestimated in terms of its potential severity. This seemingly innocuous injury occurs when the muscles in the neck suffer a strain as a result of a rapid back and forth movement, causing its delicate ligaments and tendons to stretch and tear. The symptoms of this injury generally appear within 24 hours of the accident, but can vary greatly in recovery time, depending on the force of the collision.

Symptoms of Whiplash

In some cases, it can take a few days for the symptoms of whiplash to develop. They can last for a few weeks, several months, or even longer, developing into a condition known as chronic whiplash. Here are some of the most common symptoms you should be aware of:

  • Stiffness and pain in the neck
  • Headaches, particularly at the base of the skull
  • Blurry vision
  • Dizziness
  • Weariness

Symptoms that are less common include:

  • Difficulty with concentration and memory
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Irritability
  • Chronic pain in the neck, shoulders, or head

If your symptoms spread to your shoulders or arms, moving your head becomes painful, or you experience numbness or weakness in the arms, you should immediately follow up with your doctor.

Diagnosing Whiplash

Even if you feel fine in the aftermath of an accident, you should still see your doctor. You should tell him or her the details of the accident to help better assess any injuries you might have sustained. If you are experiencing any pain, explain where you are feeling it and if it is shooting, sharp, or dull. Your doctor might also conduct a physical exam to check your range of motion and to detect any areas of tenderness.

To ensure the pain you are experiencing is not connected to other injuries or degenerative diseases, your doctor might also order an X-ray, CT scan, or MRI.

Long-Term Whiplash Effects

In most cases, those suffering from whiplash are able to achieve a full recovery within 18 to 24 months. Serious whiplash injuries, however, might result in symptoms that never fully disappear. To address these symptoms, your doctor might recommend physiotherapy or prescription painkillers.

Massachusetts Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyers

If you were involved in a car accident caused by another party’s negligence, you might be facing expensive medical bills, a difficult rehabilitation process, or lost wages. You should not have to pay for someone else’s mistakes. At the Percy Law Group, PC, our personal injury team is on your side and prepared to get the results you deserve. We will utilize all means necessary to obtain maximum compensation as soon as possible.

Contact us today at (508) 718-2545 to schedule a free consultation with a knowledgeable member of our legal team.